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Clemens v. New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

August 29, 2017

BERNIE CLEMENS, Plaintiff
v.
NEW YORK CENTRAL MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge.

         Pending before the court is the plaintiff's counsels' petition for attorneys' fees, interest and costs brought pursuant to the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S.A. §8371.[1] (Doc. 215). In reviewing the petition, the plaintiff's counsel have apparently overlooked the fact that attorneys “are quasi-officers of the court and they are expected to be careful and scrupulously honest in their representations to the court . . . [they] must exercise care, judgment, and ethical sensitivity in the delicate task of billing time and excluding hours that are [vague, redundant, excessive or] unnecessary.” See Hall v. Borough of Roselle, 747 F.2d 838, 842 (3d Cir. 1984). When they fail to do so, counsel should be conscious that their fees may be denied in their entirety. See id. (citations omitted). See also M.G. v. Eastern Regional High School Dist., 386 Fed.Appx. 186, 189 (3d Cir. 2010) (“If . . . the Court remains convinced that [counsel's] hourly rate and hours billed are outrageously excessive, it retains the discretion to award whatever fee it deems appropriate, including no fee at all.”); Deptford Twp. Sch. Dist. v. H.B. ex rel. E.B., 279 Fed.Appx. 122, 126 n.2 (3d Cir. 2008).[2]

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         By way of relevant background, the above-captioned insurance bad faith action was tried before a jury from November 2, 2015, through November 6, 2015.[3] Despite the conduct of the plaintiff's lead trial counsel[4], the plaintiff managed to obtain an award of punitive damages by way of the jury's $100, 000 verdict. On November 6, 2015, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $100, 000. (Doc. 203). On November 20, 2015, the plaintiff's counsel submitted the instant petition for attorneys' fees, interest and costs[5], (Doc. 215), along with a brief in support thereof, (Doc. 216). The defendant filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiff's petition on December 4, 2015. (Doc. 222). On December 21, 2015, the plaintiff filed a reply brief in support of the petition for attorneys' fees. (Doc. 227).

         In the meantime, by order dated December 11, 2015, the court noted that the plaintiff's counsel are seeking $1, 122, 156.43 in attorneys' fees, interest and costs for prevailing on a claim the total award of which was $125, 000 - a $25, 000 settlement on the UIM claim and a $100, 000 punitive damages verdict on the bad faith claim. (Doc. 225). Given the astounding amount of fees requested by the plaintiff's counsel, the court directed that, “. . . in relation to the petition for attorneys' fees, interest and costs, counsel for the plaintiff are to submit a copy of the fee agreement entered into with their client for the court's consideration. Counsel are also to submit a sworn verification, under penalty of perjury, from each attorney or non-attorney for whom fees have been requested in this action verifying that the fees requested are accurate and were for the actual and necessary services performed in the representation of the plaintiff in this matter. Finally, plaintiff's counsel [are] advised to maintain and not destroy any time records for any client covering the period of time relevant to this case, including the time since its inception to the present date.”[6] The plaintiff's counsel were directed to file the foregoing information on or before December 21, 2015.

         On December 21, 2015, Attorney Albright hand-delivered several items to the court for in camera inspection. Included among these items were the affidavits of five attorneys[7] from the Pisanchyn Law Firm, which indicated each attorney's affirmation that the hours and fees requested were accurate and for the actual and necessary services performed in the representation of the plaintiff; an undated contingent fee agreement entered into between the plaintiff and the Pisanchyn Law Firm; and two sets of time logs - one covering the plaintiff's underlying UIM claim and one covering the plaintiff's bad faith claim.[8]

         On January 11, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to file a sur-reply in opposition to the plaintiff's fee petition. (Doc. 231). By order dated January 24, 2017, the court noted that the plaintiff's counsel had asserted no privilege with respect to the documents submitted in camera and, in addition, there did not appear to be any privilege which could be asserted with respect to the documents. (Doc. 233). As such, the court directed that the documents submitted by the plaintiff's counsel in camera be docketed and placed on the record. The defendant's motion for leave to file a sur-reply was granted and the plaintiff's counsel were, of course, given additional time to respond to the defendant's sur-reply.

         On February 7, 2017, the defendant filed its sur-reply in opposition to the plaintiff's petition for attorneys' fees, interest and costs. (Doc. 235). The plaintiff's counsel filed a response on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 236).

         Upon review of the original and supplemental materials submitted by the plaintiff's counsel in support of their request for attorneys' fees, the court found the materials to be wholly inadequate to allow the court to make a determination as to what, if any, fees the plaintiff's counsel were entitled. Given the dearth of information submitted by the plaintiff's counsel, the court scheduled a hearing in order to allow the plaintiff's counsel yet one more opportunity to provide sufficient information to support their petition. A hearing was held on the petition for attorneys' fees on August 11, 2017. In attendance for the plaintiff were Attorney Pisanchyn, Attorney Albright, Attorney Yazinski, and Attorney Michael R. Mey[9]. Attorney Charles E. Haddick, Jr., and Attorney Bryon R. Kaster, who were both present for the trial in this matter, were present for the defendant. Attorney Albright was the only witness called to provide testimony in support of the petition for attorneys' fees. The plaintiff's counsel presented no other witnesses and did not submit any other documentary evidence in support of the petition. Defense counsel, for their part, called Attorney Pisanchyn to testify.

         With the plaintiff's counsel now having been given every opportunity to properly support their request for attorneys' fees, the court considers the merits of the petition.

         II. DISCUSSION

         As the prevailing party, the plaintiff's counsel are requesting attorneys' fees on the UIM claim in the amount of $48, 050.00; on the bad faith claim in the amount of $827, 515.00, and for the preparation of the petition for attorneys' fees in the amount of $27, 090.00, for a total of $902, 655.00 in attorneys' fees.[10] In addition, counsel are requesting interest in the amount of $175, 630.70.

         The Pennsylvania bad faith statute provides:

In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the insured, the court may take all of the following actions:
(1) Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%.
(2) Award punitive damages against the insurer.
(3) Assess court costs and attorney fees against the insurer.

42 Pa.C.S.A. §8371 (emphasis added).

         Although the court may assess attorneys' fees, costs and interest upon a finding of bad faith, as emphasized above, it is not required to do so. Polselli v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 126 F.3d 524, 534 (3d Cir. 1997). Instead, the decision whether to assess attorneys' fees, costs, and interest under §8371 is completely within the discretion of the trial court. Id.

         A. Interest

         Section 8371 permits courts to “[a]ward interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%.” 42 Pa.C.S.A. §8371(1). An award of interest is wholly within the discretion of the trial court. The purpose of an interest award is to make the plaintiff whole. Jurinko v. Medical Protective Co., 305 Fed.Appx. 13, 14 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Klinger v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 115 F.3d 230, 236 (3d Cir. 1997)). It has been recognized that interest is equitable in nature. “Interest is not to be recovered merely as compensation for money withheld but, rather, in response to considerations of fairness. It should not be imposed when its exaction would be inequitable.” Thomas v. Duralite Co., 524 F.2d 577, 589 (3d Cir. 1975).

         In requesting the court to award interest in this case, the plaintiff's counsel argue that the plaintiff's claim began April 1, 2010, and became fully payable as of November 6, 2015, the date of the jury's verdict. Counsel argue that the “unpaid balance of $125, 000 should bear interest from April 1, 2010 through November 6, 2015". At the rates provided for in Pa.R.Civ.P. 238 relating to damages for delay and §8371, the plaintiff's counsel argue that the plaintiff is entitled to interest in the amount of $175, 630.70.

         Counsels' argument on the calculation of interest in this case is flawed for a number of reasons. Initially, the plaintiff's counsel are seeking interest dating back to April 1, 2010. While this case was with Judge Conaboy, he ruled that the relevant time frame for purposes of the plaintiff's claim runs from June 21, 2011 through June 20, 2014. (Doc. 160, pp. 5-6). Moreover, in addition to the amount of the underlying claim, i.e., $25, 000, the plaintiff's counsel are seeking interest on the $100, 000 in punitive damages awarded at trial. Counsel has provided no support whatsoever that the plaintiff would be entitled to interest on the amount of punitive damages awarded at trial. In fact, there is no support either in the statute or in the applicable case law for such interest. Instead, the amount subject to interest is, as the statute provides, the amount of the underlying claim which, in this case, is $25, 000. Finally, in requesting interest in the amount of $175, 630.70, the plaintiff's counsel failed to deduct the principle amount of $125, 000 upon which they calculated the interest. Even under counsels' flawed calculation, if the $125, 000 were deducted as it should have been, the amount of interest owed would be reduced to $50, 630.70[11].

         Rather than the $175, 630.70 requested by the plaintiff's counsel, the court will award interest to the plaintiff in the amount of $4, 986.58.[12] This calculation is based upon the prime rate, which the parties agree remained steady at 3.25% at all relevant times, plus 3%, on the $25, 000 underlying claim, compounded annually, dating from June 21, 2011 through June 20, 2014. The calculation breaks down as follows:

June 21, 2011 - June 20, 2012

$25, 000 x 6.25% = $1, 562.50
$25, 000 $1, 562.50 = $26, 562.50

June 21, 2012 - June 20, 2013

$26, 562.50 x 6.25% = $1, 660.16
$26, 562.50 $1, 660.16 = $28, 222.66

June 21, 2013 - June 20, 2014

$28, 222.66 x 6.25% = $1, 763.92
$28, 222.66 $1, 763.92 = $29, 986.58

         The total ($29, 986.58) minus the principal amount already paid on the underlying claim ($25, 000) leaves the plaintiff with interest in the amount of $4, 986.58. This is the amount of interest which will be awarded to the plaintiff.

         B. Attorneys' Fees

         The purpose of any attorneys' fees award under §8371 is to make the successful plaintiff whole by allowing the plaintiff to recoup funds unnecessarily expended to force an insurance company to pay that which it should have paid. Polselli, 126 F.3d at 531 (quoting Klinger v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 115 F.3d at 236).[13]

         The Third Circuit has previously predicted how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would calculate attorneys' fees in bad faith insurance claims. Jurinko v. Medical Protective Co., 305 Fed.Appx. at 31 (citing Polselli v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 126 F.3d at 534). In Polselli, the Third Circuit determined that a trial court must consider the factors set forth in Pa.R.Civ.P. 1717[14]/[15]. Polselli, 126 F.3d at 534. Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not addressed the issue, in Birth Ctr. v. St. Paul Cos., Inc., 727 A.2d 1144, 1160 (Pa.Super.Ct. 1999), the Pennsylvania Superior Court adopted the approach. In doing so, the Superior Court stated that a calculation of attorneys' fees under Rule 1717 begins with the lodestar method. Id. Since “[t]he lodestar method is more commonly applied in statutory fee-shifting cases . . .”, In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am. Sales Practice Litig., 148 F.3d 283, 333 (3d Cir. 1998), and §8371 is a fee-shifting statute, the Third Circuit has determined that the use of the lodestar method is appropriate in §8371 cases.

         In light of the foregoing, the court begins its inquiry here by determining what reasonable attorneys' fees would be in this case under the lodestar method.[16] Under the lodestar method, “[t]he most useful starting point for determining the amount of a reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. This calculation provides an objective basis on which to make an initial estimate of the value of the lawyer's services.” Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983).

         Under the lodestar method, the court applies a burden-shifting type of procedure. Evans v. Port Authority of N.Y., 273 F.3d 346, 361 (3d Cir. 2001). The party seeking attorneys' fees bears the initial burden of demonstrating the reasonableness of the fees. See Interfaith Cmty. Org. v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc., 426 F.3d 694, 703 (3d Cir. 2005) (citing Rode v. Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d 1177, 1183 (3d Cir. 1990)). To meet this burden, the fee petitioner “must submit evidence supporting the hours worked and the rates claimed.” Dellarciprete, 892 F.2d at 1183 (quoting Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433). Once the fee petitioner has met his or her initial burden, the party challenging the request bears the burden of showing that the request is unreasonable. McKenna v. City of Phila., 582 F.3d 447, 459 (3d Cir. 2009). In light of any objections, the court must provide its reasoning when awarding fees and should provide a clear and concise explanation for the award. Planned Parenthood of Cent. N.J. v. Att'y Gen. of State of N.J., 297 F.3d 253, 266 (3d Cir. 2002). If the opposing party meets its burden of showing that it is appropriate to adjust the lodestar, “the lodestar amount may be increased or decreased at the discretion of the District Court.” Dee v. Borough of Dunmore, 2013 WL 685144 at *4 (M.D.Pa. Feb. 25, 2013), aff'd 548 Fed.Appx. 58 (3d Cir. 2013) (quoting Lanni v. State of N.J., 259 F.3d 146, 149 (3d Cir. 2001)). If the lodestar is reduced, “the type of reduction made by a district court need not be exactly the same as that requested by the adverse party, ‘as long as the fee applicant is given sufficient notice to present his or her contentions with respect to the reduction that the district court ultimately makes.'” McKenna, 582 F.3d at 459 (quoting Bell v. United Princeton Prop., Inc., 884 F.2d 713, 722 (3d Cir. 1989)).

         1. Reasonable Hours

         The court begins making its determination of the hours reasonably expended on a matter with the claimed hours for which the applicant has provided some evidentiary support. The plaintiff's counsel must submit evidence of the hours worked that is “specific enough to allow the district court to determine if the hours claimed are unreasonable for the work performed.” Washington v. Phila. County Court of Common Pleas, 89 F.3d 1031, 1037 (3d Cir. 1996). In calculating the hours reasonably expended on a matter, the district court should “review the time charged, decide whether the hours set out were reasonably expended for each of the particular purposes described and then exclude those that are excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary.” Pa. Envtl. Def. Found. v. Canon-McMillan School Dist., 152 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 1998). Where documentation of the hours expended is inadequate, “the district court may reduce the award accordingly.” Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433. As noted above and in Hensley, lawyers are required to use judgment when billing their clients so as not to bill clients for “excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary” hours. Id. at 434. Further, “[h]ours that are not properly billed to one's client also are not properly billed to one's adversary pursuant to statutory authority.” Id. (citations omitted). Ultimately, district courts have “substantial discretion in determining what constitutes . . . reasonable hours.” Lanni v. New Jersey, 259 F.3d 146, 149 (3d Cir. 2001).

         As evidence of the hours worked in this matter, the plaintiff's counsel submitted two sets of time logs, one for the UIM claim, which dates from March 11, 2010 through December 30, 2013, and one for the bad faith claim, which dates from December 20, 2013 through November 6, 2015. In addition, the plaintiff's counsel have submitted the affidavits of five attorneys, who claim to have represented the plaintiff's interests in this matter, indicating their belief that the hours set forth in the time logs are accurate. Counsel suggest that these materials demonstrate the reasonableness of the hours billed in this case.

         In initially reviewing the time logs submitted by the plaintiff's counsel, although various attorneys from the Pisanchyn Law Firm submitted affidavits indicating their belief as to the accuracy of the hours contained therein, the court had some serious concerns regarding the reasonableness of the number of hours billed. Adding to the court's concerns is the testimony of Attorney Albright, who testified at the hearing on the petition that contemporaneous time records were not kept in this matter and therefore the time logs had to be reconstructed. Initially, with regard to the reconstruction of time records in this case, the court observes that Attorney Albright testified that she and Attorney Pisanchyn knew “relatively early in the case” that a bad faith claim would be asserted. Although Attorney Albright testified that this was her first bad faith claim, the testimony was that it was not Attorney Pisanchyn's, and the court presumes that the plaintiff's counsel were aware that, if they prevailed on their bad faith claim, they would be filing a petition for attorneys' fees under the bad faith statute. The court also presumes that the plaintiff's counsel knew then that it would be their duty to establish entitlement to fees under the statute and that the documentation they submitted in support of their request would be the subject of the court's scrutiny. Under such circumstances, it is not only reasonable to expect that contemporaneous time records be maintained noting the type of work performed on the case, when the work was performed, who performed the work, and the actual time dedicated to such. Counsel surely knew that, if they prevailed on their claim, the court must evaluate the reasonableness of the requested fee and would require the factual basis to do it. Irrespective of what the plaintiff's counsel knew or should have known with respect to fee petitions under the bad faith statute, they did not maintain contemporaneous records but, instead, relied upon Attorney Albright to “reconstruct” records for every attorney, paralegal or IT staff member billing time on this matter over an approximately six year period.

         Attorney Albright's testimony relating to her reconstruction of records for every attorney, paralegal or IT staff member billing time on this matter for a period of over six years is troubling to the court. To this extent, Attorney Albright testified that it was her responsibility, as the primary attorney on this case, to reconstruct the time logs in support of the instant petition for fees. According to Attorney Albright's testimony, the time logs she submitted are her “guess” as to the hours spent on this case based upon information that she extracted from the Pisanchyn Law Firm's “NEEDLE” system[17], which she then compared, where possible, to information and documents contained in the hard file. Because the NEEDLE system, until recently, did not track the time expended on any particular task, Attorney Albright testified that, for each entry in the NEEDLE system, she would review the description of the task entered, consult the hard file, and then she would essentially guess how much time each task had taken. Attorney Albright testified that she did this, not only for her own entries in the NEEDLE system, but for entries which other attorneys, paralegals and information technology, (“IT”), staff had placed in the system. With respect to the other individuals' entries, she testified that, on some occasions, she was present during the task being performed, but on most occasions she was not. In fact, she testified that some of the entries which she estimated hours for were placed in the system by individuals who were no longer employed with the Pisanchyn Law Firm and who had placed the entries in the system before she was employed with the Pisanchyn Law Firm.[18] In other words, in 2016 when Attorney Albright was reconstructing the time logs, she went back and reviewed entries pre-dating the start of her own employment with the law firm in July of 2011. She testified that she would look at the description of a task performed by another attorney or a paralegal, with whom she had not worked and who had since left the law firm, and essentially make up how much billable time she thought should be assigned to the task. Although the plaintiff's counsel have not produced for the court's inspection the actual NEEDLE system entries, for various entries in the system, such as those that may have simply been described as a “telephone call” or “conference” with an individual, it would be next to impossible for Attorney Albright to know how much time to assign to such a task without having been there herself or having the attorney who performed the task provide information regarding the actual time spent. For Attorney Albright to go back over six years of entries in the NEEDLE system and “guess” how much time it took other attorneys, paralegals or IT staff to perform entered tasks prior to her own employment with the firm, or even after she was employed with the firm when she had no personal knowledge of the actual time spent on such tasks, is flabbergasting to the court and, quite frankly, disturbing.

         In the best of circumstances, reconstructed records create many problems for a court charged with the duty of calculating a lodestar, and courts have often emphasized the need for counsel to exercise good billing judgment in their fee requests. See, e.g., Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434; In re Fine Paper Litig., 751 F.2d 562, 594-95 (3d Cir. 1984). Retrospective estimates of time expended on various tasks necessarily produce inaccuracy in the number of hours billed. While manifest unreasonableness is relatively easy to discover, slight but consistent overstatement is not. Even with the assistance of correspondence files and dockets to refresh an attorney's recollection of tasks performed, some of the requested hours may be misclassified. Moreover, should the court deny a particular category of fees, any misclassification by counsel could yield an erroneous fee.

         Despite the apparent problems with reconstructed time records, courts in the Third Circuit have accepted reconstructed records as a basis for awarding fees. See Pawlak v. Greenawalt, 713 F.2d 972, 978 (3d Cir. 1983), cert. denied sub nom. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America v. Pawlak, 464 U.S. 1041 (1984). See also Blair v. Protective Nat'l Ins. Co., 1999 WL 179743 (E.D.Pa., Mar. 10, 1999); Smith v. Int'l Total Serv., Inc., 1997 WL 667872 (E.D.Pa., Oct. 9, 1997) (warning counsel that the court would not expect to see reconstructed time records again in an action in which counsel knows that they may recover fees, as they may create the perception of unaccountability and unfairness and because of the potential for systematic overstatement or misclassification of hours) (citing Contractors Ass'n of Eastern Pennsylvania v. City of Philadelphia, 1996 WL 355341 (E.D.Pa., June 20, 1996); Fletcher v. O'Donnell, 729 F.Supp. 422 (E.D.Pa. 1990)). Here, although the plaintiff's counsel did not maintain contemporaneous time records, and the manner in which the time logs were reconstructed in this case is subject to extreme credibility issues, the reconstructed records have permitted the defendant's counsel to challenge specific items. See Fletcher v. O'Donnell, 729 F.Supp. at 429 (reaching a similar conclusion on the facts before it). Moreover, the reconstructed time records also permit this court to make a thoughtful determination as to the reasonableness of the services performed. As such, the court will consider the reconstructed time records for the purpose of the lodestar calculation in this case, but will scrutinize them carefully.

         i. Paralegal Hours - UIM Claim

         The plaintiff's counsel have billed 106.50 paralegal hours on the UIM claim.[19] The defendant objects to the hours billed in the petition for fees on several bases. Included among these are that the time logs provided for both paralegals and attorneys contain several generic categorical descriptions which do not allow either defense counsel or the court to determine whether the fees requested for such are reasonable. For example, the defendant argues that entries for fees simply described as “file maintenance”, “file management”, “communicate”, “other” and “legal research” are not sufficiently specific to allow the court to determine whether the fees charged are reasonable.[20] In this regard, the party requesting fees must submit “fairly definite information as to hours devoted to various general activities”. United Auto Workers Local 259 Soc. Sec. Dep't v. Metro Auto Ctr., 501 F.3d 283, 291 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Evans v. Port Auth., 273 F.3d at 361). The petition “must be specific enough for the district court ‘to determine if the hours claimed are unreasonable for the work performed.'” Souryavong v. Lackawanna Cnty., 159 F.Supp.3d 514, 534 (M.D.Pa. 2016) (quoting Washington v. Phila. Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas, 89 F.3d at 1037). An entry for hours claimed should indicate the nature of the activity, the subject matter of the activity, the date the activity took place, and the amount of time spent on the activity. Rode, 892 F.2d at 1191. “Where the documentation of hours is inadequate, the district court may reduce the award accordingly.” Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433.

         The defendant also argues that there are a number of hours billed by the plaintiff's counsel which are excessive, redundant or otherwise unnecessary.[21] As set forth above, “[i]n calculating the hours reasonably expended, a court should ‘review the time charged, decide whether the hours set out were reasonably expended for each of the particular purposes described and then exclude those that are ‘excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary.'” Public Int. Research Group of N.J., Inc. v. Windall, 51 F.3d 1179, 1188 (3d Cir. 1995) (internal citations omitted). See also Rode, 892 F.2d at 1183 (“The district court should exclude hours that are not reasonably expended.”). When calculating reasonable hours, the court should exclude hours that were not reasonably expended, such as time spent on tasks that are not normally billed to a client or hours expended by professionals on tasks that should be delegated to a non-professional assistant. Id. at 434. “[T]he District Court has a positive and affirmative function in the fee fixing process, not merely a passive role.” Loughner, 260 F.3d 173, 178 (3d Cir. 2001). In fulfilling its role, the court should reduce the hours claimed for which the fee petition inadequately documents the hours so claimed. Id.

         In light of the arguments raised by defense counsel in opposition to the hours billed in the petition for attorneys' fees and the manner in which those hours were reconstructed in their briefs and at the hearing on the matter, the court has reviewed every entry billed by the plaintiff's counsel, line by line. The court finds that a vast number of the entries for paralegal services on the UIM claim should be disallowed as vague, excessive, duplicative or unnecessary. The number of hours billed by the plaintiff's counsel for paralegal services on the UIM claim will be reduced accordingly.

         Initially, there are 53 entries for paralegal services totaling 20 hours described only as “file maintenance”. Attorney Albright testified at the hearing that “file maintenance” related to “document[ing] and put[ting] into a table of contents all of those correspondences [filed in this case], [and] the 200 and some pleadings that were filed on the docket and organiz[ing] all of that.” Attorney Albright further testified that, in addition to paralegals, non-professional secretaries were used to perform such “file maintenance”. As discussed above, the court should exclude hours for time spent on tasks that are not normally billed to a client or hours expended by professionals on tasks that should be delegated to a non-professional assistant. Tasks such as placing documents into a table of contents and organizing documents received by the law firm or filed into the docket of a case certainly do not require billing for professional services. In fact, Attorney Albright testified that non-professional staff were, in fact, utilized to perform this task, as well as paralegals. The court finds it unreasonable to charge professional paralegal hours to perform such “file maintenance” and, therefore, the 20 hours billed for such will be disallowed.

         Relatedly, on December 12, 2011, there is an entry for “file maintenance/message” billed at .25 of an hour. Moreover, there are a number of entries for “file maintenance” “regarding” one matter or another each billed at .25 of an hour. These entries are as follows: February 13, 2013, “File Maintenance re: records/subpoenas”; August 23, 2013, two entries for “File maintenance re filing fee”; August 23, 2013, “File maintenance re complaint”; August 27, 2013, “File maintenance re overnight mail fee”; September 11, 2013, “File maintenance re: mailing costs”; September 11, 2013, “File maintenance re service of complaint”; October 1, 2013, “File maintenance re Case Management Conf.”; October 14, 2013, “File Maintenance re correspondence to Atty Haddick”[22]; November 22, 2013, “File maintenance re status”; December 5, 2013, three entries for “File maintenance re: wage loss”; December 10, 2013, “File maintenance re: wage loss”; and December 30, 2013, “File maintenance re client questions about discovery”. There is nothing substantive to distinguish these entries from those simply providing for “file maintenance”. Therefore, the court will also disallow the 4 hours billed for these entries.

         There are also two entries for “file maintenance - documentation received”, each billed at .5 of an hour. In addition to falling under the “file maintenance” category discussed above, the court finds that charging .5 of an hour for the simple receipt of a document, with no indication that any action was actually taken with respect to the document, is patently unreasonable. Therefore, the court will disallow 1 hour for the entries on March 24, 2010 and March 25, 2010.

         Along the same line, a number of entries billed for paralegal services on the UIM claim simply refer to “correspondence received”. Where there is no indication that any action was actually taken with respect to the correspondence received, no billing will be allowed for paralegal services on these occasions.[23]/[24] Each of these entries are billed for .25 of an hour and are dated as follows: April 6, 2010; April 9, 2010; April 12, 2010; April 16, 2010; April 19, 2010; May 17, 2010; May 20, 2010; May 27, 2010; two entries on June 3, 2010; June 16, 2010; July 7, 2010; July 16, 2010; July 19, 2010; two entries on July 20, 2010; July 27, 2010; August 4, 2010; August 24, 2010; September 28, 2010; October 7, 2010; October 19, 2010; November 23, 2010; January 7, 2011; January 10, 2011; February 9, 2011; March 28, 2011; April 8, 2011; April 11, 2011; April 15, 2011; April 28, 2011; April 29, 2011; May 5, 2011; June 30, 2011; two entries on July 11, 2011; July 20, 2011; July 22, 2011; July 25, 2011; August 24, 2011; September 6, 2011; September 26, 2011; October 3, 2011; October 18, 2011; October 20, 2011; October 25, 2011; November 3, 2011; January 5, 2012; February 28, 2012; August 27, 2012; November 16, 2012; November 29, 2012; January 22, 2013; October 14, 2013; October 15, 2013; and December 20, 2013. These entries, which total 14 hours, will be disallowed.

         There are similarly a number of entries indicating that documents or notifications were received from the court, either through email or through the CM/ECF system. Again, charges for the mere receipt of these materials will not be allowed. Said entries are each charged at .25 of an hour on the following dates: October 1, 2013; two entries on November 1, 2013; November 19, 2013; December 5, 2013; and two entries on December 19, 2013. These entries total 1.75 hours.

         In reviewing the time logs for paralegal hours on the UIM claim, there are several entries for telephone calls or telephone conferences with an individual, either the plaintiff, the carrier, police, or someone else, with absolutely no identification of the subject matter of the telephone call or conference. While Attorney Albright expressed her concern at the hearing for divulging confidential information[25], courts within this district have excluded similar entries for counsel's failure to include any information relating to the subject of the telephone call or conference which would allow the court to determine whether the time billed for such was reasonable. See Souryavong, 159 F.Supp.3d at 534 (citing Wales v. Jack M. Berry, Inc., 192 F.Supp.2d 1313, 1323 (M.D.Pa. 2001) (sustaining “any objection to an entry referring to a conference, a telephone call, or the like . . . if the entry does not identify the subject of the communication, ” because “[w]hile it is not expected that discussions or other messages should be particularized in detail, it is easy enough to add a couple of words regarding the subject matter of the communication in order to show that it is compensable . . .”)). These entries total 27.5 hours which will be disallowed.[26]

         The UIM time logs contain a number of entries for paralegal hours for “case review” or “file review”. These entries appear on the following dates: January 12, 2011 for “Case review-file maintenance” (.75 of an hour); October 18, 2010 for “File review” (.5 of an hour); and October 20, 2011 for “File review” (.25 of an hour). Hours billed for “case review” or “file review”, without an explanation for the necessity of such, are not reasonable. See e.g., Florence v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 2016 WL 6459592, at *3 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 6, 2016) (citing Brown v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 2013 WL 1790212, at *5 (Fed. Cl. Apr. 8, 2013), supplemented, 2013 WL 2350541 (Fed. Cl. May 6, 2013) (disallowing amounts billed for case review where counsel was actively involved in the case and such review was deemed unnecessary). The court will therefore disallow the 1.5 hours charged for paralegal services for case and/or file review.

         On January 9, 2012, January 10, 2012, May 1, 2012, and March 1, 2015, there are entries for “notes” to the file billed for a total of 1 hour. The court finds that such administrative tasks can be quickly accomplished and generally do not require .25 of an hour per occurrence. The total of these entries will, therefore, be reduced by .75 of an hour to .25 of hour.

         On March 6, 2013, May 10, 2013, and May 16, 2013, there are entries which indicate “File Maintenance re: contacting client”, “File maintenance -client call”, and “File Maintenance re client availability”. These are billed at a total of 1 hour. On these same dates, there are indications that the attorney working on the case also billed for either actually contacting the client or for similar “file maintenance”. In addition to the reasons set forth above for discounting the “file maintenance” entries, these charges certainly appear to be duplicative. As such, the court will disallow the 1 hour of billing for paralegal services on these occasions.

         There also appears to be a number of other duplicative entries within the paralegal services entries in the UIM claim. On April 1, 2010, there are two identical entries for correspondence sent to the carrier, each billed for .25 of an hour. One of these will be disallowed. On March 13, 2013, there are two entries, one for “emailing” correspondence to Attorney Haddick and one for “sending” correspondence to Attorney Haddick. Both are billed at .25 of an hour. These entries are apparently duplicative and the court will disallow the time billed for one. Again, on September 4, 2013, there are two entries which appear to be duplicative, one indicating “Drafted correspondence to Atty Haddick with TS'd complaint” and the other “Drafted correspondence to NYCMFIC with TS'd complaint”. Both entries are billed at .25 of an hour. Only one will be allowed. There are three entries dated October 1, 2013 indicating “Email re: entry of appearance”. Each entry is billed at .25 of an hour. Only one will be allowed. Thus, for these duplicative entries, 1.5 hours billed will be disallowed.

         Further, in reviewing the UIM time logs for paralegal services, the court finds that there are numerous entries that reflect time spent on administrative tasks such as the simple mailing, faxing or filing documents or “document preparation”[27]. Professional time, whether it be for attorneys or paralegals, should generally not be charged for administrative tasks because hours spent on such tasks are normally not billed to a paying client and such tasks are delegable to non-professional staff. See Moffitt v. Tunkhannock Area Sch. Dist., 2017 WL 319154, **6-7 (M.D.Pa. Jan. 20, 2017) (citations omitted). The entries included for paralegal hours on the UIM claim are as follows: April 13, 2010, “Facsimile to provider” (.25 of an hour); July 20, 2010, “Correspondence sent” (.25 of an hour); March 16, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); April 13, 2011, “Document preparation” (1 hour); April 15, 2011, “Document preparation” (1 hour); April 15, 2011, “Document preparation” (.75 of an hour); May 2, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); May 24, 2011, “Document preparation” (1 hour); May 25, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); May 31, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); June 2, 2011, “Correspondence sent” (.25 of an hour); June 21, 2011, “Correspondence sent” (.25 of an hour); June 21, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); August 23, 2011, “Document preparation” (.5 of an hour); September 30, 2011, “Document preparation” (.25 of an hour); October 19, 2011, “Document preparation (.5 of an hour); October 25, 2011, “Document preparation” (.25 of an hour); January 9, 2013, “Mailed correspondence to client” (.25 of an hour); December 5, 2013, “Mailed correspondence to Atty Haddick” (.25 of an hour); December 5, 2013, “Electronically filed Rule 26 Disclosures” (.25 of an hour); December 9, 2013, “Mailed correspondence to clients with Defendants' discovery request” (.25 of an hour); and December 16, 2013, “Electronically filed letter with Court re consent to mediate” (.25 of an hour). These entries total 10 hours for which any related fees will be disallowed.

         Finally, there are a number of entries labeled “Email - outgoing” or “Email sent” which do not indicate to whom or for what purpose the email was sent and are too vague for the court to determine whether these hours are reasonable. In any event, “e-mailing” has been found by this court to be a purely clerical task which is non-billable and absorbed into the attorney's fee. See Moffitt, 2017 WL 319154 at *7 (citing McKenna, 582 F.3d at 457). As such, the hours billed for these entries will not be allowed. There are two of these entries on September 27, 2013 for .25 of an hour each and two entries on October 1, 2013 for .25 of an hour each. These entries total 1 hour for which fees will be disallowed.

         In sum, the plaintiff's counsel have billed 106.50 hours for paralegal services on the underlying UIM claim. Even giving the plaintiff's counsel the benefit of the doubt on a number of the billed entries, the court has determined that 84 billed hours should be disallowed. Thus, the total number of hours for paralegal services which could conceivably be determined to be reasonable are reduced to 22.5. This is a reduction of approximately 79% of the hours billed by the plaintiff's counsel.[28]

         ii. Paralegal Hours - Bad Faith Claim

         The plaintiff's counsel have billed 198[29] hours for paralegal services on the bad faith claim. Upon review of the bad faith time logs, the court finds that many of the hours billed for paralegal services are disallowable either because the entries are too vague for the court to determine the reasonableness of the hours billed, or because they are duplicative, excessive and/or unnecessary. Therefore, as were the paralegal hours on the UIM claim, the hours for paralegal services on the bad faith claim will be reduced.

         Initially, in reviewing the bad faith time logs, there is an entry on December 20, 2013 for “Case Intake” for one hour. At this time, the plaintiff's case had already been with the Pisanchyn Law Firm for over three years on the underlying UIM claim. While the court allowed the initial charge for “Case Intake” on March 11, 2010, when the case first came to the Pisanchyn Law firm, the court finds the second charge to be unnecessary and duplicative. The court will therefore disallow the one hour billed for paralegal fees for this entry.

         As with the UIM claim, there are a number of entries in the bad faith time logs for paralegal services where the only indication is that the paralegal “received” a document. On these occasions, the paralegal charged for the receipt of the document and the attorney working on the matter then apparently charged for review of the document. Again, where there is no indication that the paralegal took any action with respect to the document, no fees will be allowed for paralegal services. In this category, there are a number of entries for “Correspondence received from client”, each being billed at .25 of an hour. These are dated as follows: January 6, 2014; two entries on January 9, 2014; January 15, 2014; January 21, 2014; February 10, 2014; February 18, 2014; two entries on March 10, 2014; March 12, 2014; three entries on March 13, 2014; three entries on March 14, 2014; five entries on March 17, 2014; three entries on March 18, 2014; two entries on March 20, 2014; April 1, 2014; April 7, 2014; April 10, 2014; April 15, 2014; April 16, 2014; April 21, 2014; April 22, 2014; April 24, 2014; April 29, 2014; May 1, 2014; May 5, 2014; May 8, 2014; May 13, 2014; two entries on June 9, 2014; 3 entries on June 16, 2014; two entries on June 17, 2014; June 20, 2014; June 24, 2014; June 26, 2014; June 27, 2014; June 30, 2014; July 7, 2014; July 8, 2014; July 10, 2014; July 15, 2014; July 25, 2014; July 29, 2014; July 30, 2014; August 5, 2014, August 7, 2014; two entries on August 12, 2014; two entries on August 20, 2014; August 25, 2014; September 12, 2014; September 23, 2014; two entries on September 25, 2014; December 4, 2014; December 20, 2014; January 26, 2015; February 9, 2015; February 12, 2015; February 24, 2015; two entries on March 10, 2015; March 13, 2015; March 30, 2015; two entries on March 31, 2015; and April 7, 2015. These entries total 20.50 hours for paralegal services which will be disallowed.

         Similarly, there are several entries for other documents “received” which will be disallowed. Each of these entries is billed for .25 of an hour. They are dated as follows: January 14, 2014, “Correspondence from mediator”; January 28, 2014, “Correspondence received re mediation”; February 3, 2014, “Correspondence received from atty”; March 7, 2014, “Correspondence received from Attorney Haddick”; March 18, 2014, “Correspondence from co for defense”; April 2, 2014, “Correspondence received Court Order”; May 13, 2014, “Correspondence from agent for carrier”; May 13, 2014, “Correspondence from clients”; May 28, 2014, “Email from atty for carrier”; June 5, 2014, “Correspondence from clients”; June 10, 2014, “Correspondence from atty”; June 12, 2014, “Correspondence received from agent of def”; two entries June 24, 2014, “Received email reply from Court re filing”; June 24, 2014, “Received faxed deposition notices for Plaintiffs”; two entries on June 27, 2014, “Email from court reporter”; July 2, 2014, “Email from court reporters”; July 8, 2014, “Correspondence from carrier”; July 15, 2014, “Received correspondence from atty”; July 16, 2014, “Email received”; July 28, 2014, “Correspondence from atty”; July 28, 2014, “Received correspondence”; August 1, 2014, “Mail received from court reports”; August 19, 2014, “Received correspondence from atty”; August 19, 2014, “Received fax from Atty”; August 27, 2014, “Correspondence received”; September 17, 2014, “Correspondence received”; September 18, 2014, “Correspondence received”; September 18, 2014, “Received fax from Attorney Kaster re report”; September 19, 2014, “Received Court's Order”; December 19, 2014, “Received fax from Attorney Kaster”; January 26, 2015, “Correspondence received from Attorney with Rule 68 offer of $15, 000"; February 9, 2015, “Received fax from Attorney Kaster enclosing Motion for Sanctions”; and March 31, 2015, “Correspondence from atty”. These entries total 8.75 hours and the fees associated with these entries will be disallowed.

         Again, there are several entries indicating mere receipt of ECF filings or emails regarding ECF filings, for which there is no indication that the paralegal took any other action and, after which, there are charges for attorney review of the ECF filings. These also will be disallowed. Each of these entries is billed at .25 of an hour. These entries are dated as follows: January 3, 2014; two entries on January 9, 2014; January 28, 2014; two entries on February 20, 2014; two entries on March 4, 2014; two entries on March 10, 2014; March 12, 2014; March 17, 2014; March 21, 2014, March 24, 2014; March 28, 2014; two entries on April 4, 2014; April 15, 2014; April 17, 2014, April 21, 2014; two entries on April 25, 2014; April 30, 2014; two entries on June 4, 2014[30]; June 16, 2014; June 20, 2014; two entries on June 23, 2014; June 24, 2014; two entries on July 1, 2014; July 8, 2014; July 14, 2014; four entries on July 15, 2014; July 23, 2014; July 28, 2014; August 5, 2014; August 7, 2014; three entries on August 22, 2014; August 25, 2014; August 27, 2014; September 4, 2014; September 9, 2014; two entries on September 12, 2014; September 17, 2014; September 30, 2014; two entries on October 1, 2014; October 6, 2014; October 8, 2014; October 23, 2014; October 24, 2014; five entries on November 3, 2014; December 4, 2014; December 11, 2014; December 17, 2014; three entries on January 15, 2015; February 13, 2015; three entries on March 16, 2015; two entries on March 18, 2015; March 23, 2015; three entries on March 30, 2015; April 2, 2015; two entries on April 7, 2015; April 8, 2015, and two entries on April 9, 2015. These entries total 21.50 hours and any fees for paralegal services related to these entries will be disallowed.

         As with the UIM claim, there are numerous entries for “file maintenance” billed for paralegal services in the bad faith claim. Added to the bad faith claim are also entries for “file management”[31]. As previously discussed, these entries will be disallowed, as there is no indication that they could not have been handled by non-professional staff. These entries occur on the following dates: January 16, 2014 (.5 of an hour); January 28, 2014 (.25 of an hour); February 6, 2014 (.25 of an hour); February 13, 2014 (.25 of an hour); February 14, 2014 (.25 of an hour); two entries on March 10, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); March 12, 2014 (.25 of an hour); three entries on March 17, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); March 18, 2014 (.25 of an hour); March 25, 2014 (.25 of an hour); April 9, 2014 (.25 of an hour); April 18, 2014 (.25 of an hour); April 25, 2014 (.25 of an hour); April 30, 2014 (.25 of an hour); May 1, 2014 (.5 of an hour); May 13, 2014 (.25 of an hour); June 9, 2014 (.5 of an hour); June 16, 2014 (.25 of an hour); June 20, 2014 (.5 of an hour); three entries on June 20, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); June 23, 2014 (.25 of an hour); three entries on June 24, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); June 25, 2014 (.25 of an hour); July 1, 2014 (.25 of an hour); July 2, 2014 (.5 of an hour); July 3, 2014 (.5 of an hour); July 9, 2014 (.25 of an hour); July 18, 2014 (.25 of an hour); two entries on July 24, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); July 25, 2014 (.25 of an hour); July 30, 2014 (.25 of an hour); August 15, 2014 (.25 of an hour); August 22, 2014 (.25 of an hour); August 27, 2014 (.25 of an hour); August 28, 2014 (.25 of an hour); three entries on September 9, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); September 13, 2014 (.25 of an hour); two entries on September 26, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); October 2, 2014 (.25 of an hour); October 3, 2014 (.25 of an hour); October 23, 2014 (.25 of an hour); October 24, 2014 (.25 of an hour); five entries on October 27, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); two entries on October 30, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); November 3, 2014 (.25 of an hour); December 12, 2014 (.25 of an hour); two entries on December 16, 2014 (.5 of an hour each); two entries on December 17, 2014 (.25 of an hour each); December 22, 2014 (.25 of an hour); January 19, 2015 (.25 of an hour); January 22, 2015 (.5 of an hour); February 9, 2015 (.25 of an hour); February 13, 2015 (.25 of an hour); February 25, 2015 (.25 of an hour); February 27, 2015 (.25 of an hour); March 4, 2015 (.25 of an hour); three entries on March 6, 2015 (.25 of an hour each); March 20, 2015 (.5 of an hour); March 25, 2015 (.25 of an hour); March 26, 2015 (.25 of an hour); April 8, 2015 (.25 of an hour); April 10, 2015 (.25 of an hour); April 16, 2015 (.25 of an hour); April 28, 2015 (.25 of an hour); April 29, 2015 (.25 of an hour); May 4, 2015 (.25 of an hour); May 6, 2015 (.25 of an hour); May 12, 2015 (.25 of an hour); June 11, 2015 (.25 of an hour); June 25, 2015 (.25 of an hour); July 16, 2016 (.25 of an hour); July 23, 2015 (.25 of an hour); August 17, 2015 (.25 of an hour); August 24, 2015 (2 hours); September 10, 2015 (.25 of an hour); September 21, 2015 (.5 of an hour); September 22, 2015 (.25 of an hour); September 25, 2015 (.25 of an hour); and October 13, 2015 (.25 of an hour). These entries total 29.25 hours and paralegal fees for these services will be disallowed.

         The bad faith time logs also reflect several hours being charged for paralegal services for entries simply labeled “other”. As noted previously, Attorney Albright testified that any such entry “might have been something that was confidential in nature . . . or something that wouldn't fit in any of the slots . . .” Obviously, with entries simply labeled as “other”, there is no way for the court to determine what these entries were for or whether they were necessary or reasonable. They are dated as follows: June 11, 2014 (6 hours); August 7, 2014 (.25 of an hour); August 8, 2014 (.25 of an hour); September 23, 2014 (.25 of an hour); March 13, 2015 (.25 of an hour); and May 8, 2015 (.25 of an hour). These entries total 7.25 hours and paralegal service fees for these entries will be disallowed.

         There are a number of entries in the bad faith time logs where hours are billed for paralegal services for simply mailing, faxing, emailing or sending documents or correspondence. As the court indicated previously, professionals should not be billing for such administrative tasks which can be delegated to administrative support staff. Each entry is made for .25 of an hour. The entries are dated as follows: January 21, 2014, “Correspondence sent”; February 13, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; February 20, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; March 3, 2014, “Correspondence to atty for carrier”; March 3, 2014, “Facsimile to atty for carrier”; March 7, 2014, “Faxed correspondence and Brief to Attorney Haddick”; March 7, 2014, “Mailed correspondence and Brief to Attorney Haddick”; March 7, 2014, “File maintenance - correspondence sent to Attorney Haddick”; March 7, 2014, “File maintenance re correspondence sent to Attorney Haddick”; three entries on March 11, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier” and “correspondence to atty for carrier”; two entries for March 12, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; two entries on March 17, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; March 18, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; four entries on March 19, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier” and “correspondence to atty for carrier”; April 4, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; April 11, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; two entries on April 16, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; April 25, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty”; April 25, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; April 28, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; May 2, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; May 12, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; three entries on June 16, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier” and “correspondence to atty for carrier”; June 24, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; June 25, 2014, “Faxed correspondence to Attys”; June 25, 2014, “Correspondence sent”; June 25, 2014, “Correspondence faxed”; June 25, 2014, “Mailed correspondence to atty”; June 26, 2014, “Emailed transcript files”; two entries on June 27, 2014, “Emailed Attorney for carrier”; July 1, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; July 15, 2014, “Email correspondence to expert”; August 7, 2014, “Faxed correspondence to atty”; August 7, 2014, “Correspondence sent to attys for carrier”; four entries on August 20, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier” and “correspondence to carrier”; August 21, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; September 15, 2014, “Correspondence sent to atty”; three entries on September 16, 2014, “Correspondence sent”; October 23, 2014, “Correspondence sent”; February 9, 2015, “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”; and February 13, 2015 “Correspondence sent to atty for carrier”. These entries total 13 hours and the court will disallow any fees for paralegal services related to these entries.

         Moreover, as with the UIM claim, any entries labeled only “Document preparation” or “Documentation prep” will not be permitted as they may or may not be administrative in nature and, in any event, are too vague for the court to determine the reasonableness of time spent on the task. These entries occur on the following dates: January 16, 2014 (1.5 hours); February 6, 2014 (.5 of an hour); February 11, 2014 (1 hour); two entries on March 10, 2014 (totaling 1.5 hours); three entries on March 11, 2014 (totaling 2 hours); April 25, 2014 (2 hours); August 20, 2014 (.5 of an hour); two entries on May 8, 2015 (totaling 1.50 hours); and August 17, 2015 (8 hours). These entries total 18.5 hours and fees for paralegal services related to these entries will be disallowed.

         As with the UIM claim time logs there are numerous hours billed for telephone calls or conferences with no description of the subject matter of the call or conference. As with the UIM claim, these hours will be disallowed. These entries total 13.5 hours.

         The court notes a number of miscellaneous entries for paralegal services for which fees will not be allowed. These are dated as follows: March 21, 2014, “Review of file” (1 hour); May 6, 2014, “Administrative entry” (.25 of an hour); June 9, 2014, “Document retrieval” (.5 of an hour); four entries for “Email correspondence” with no indication to who or for what reason (each at .25 of an hour); July 25, 2014, “File note” (.25 of an hour); September 9, 2014, “Telephone call” (.25 of an hour); four entries on September 15, 2014, “Administrative note” (.25 of an hour each); September 15, 2014, “Correspondence” (.25 of an hour); October 27, 2014, “Telephone call” (.25 of an hour); October 30, 2014, “Telephone call” (.25 of an hour); and March 5, 2015, “Communicate-other” (.25 of an hour). These entries total 5.25 hours and any paralegal fees for these entries will be disallowed.

         Next, the plaintiff's counsel have billed 43 hours for paralegal services for preparing the bates stamped documents in this matter. Preparing bates stamped documents is not an overly burdensome task. Although there were numerous bates stamped pages compiled in this matter, the court finds the 43 hours billed for such a task is extremely excessive. Moreover, if individuals had actually dedicated the number of hours billed for performing the tasks of “file maintenance” and “file management”, 43 hours for preparing the bates stamped documents would have ...


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